Fellow Scarlets, we hope you are having a good 2023. The year is definitely going fast!
As we head into the holiday season, we’d like to appeal to the spirit of giving in everyone – and underline the 2023-2024 fundraising needs and priorities for your East High School Alumni Foundation.
Going forward, donations can be designated online or through mail to three different areas:
1. Donations designated for “Greatest need” go toward:
- Administration. We now have an association management firm handling the day-to-day needs of the Alumni Foundation and Alumni Association, which includes receiving and tracking donations, database updates and scholarship processing. Along with that, we are implementing a new scholarship software to more efficiently manage our process of reviewing 90+ student applications and awarding more than $220,000 in scholarships annually. Costs for these services and tools can be as high as $35,000/year, so we need financial support to cover them and help our Alumni Foundation and Alumni Association run smoothly.
- In the past, annual Alumni Association dues payments helped cover administration costs; going forward, we are simply asking for donations in lieu of annual dues.
- School programs, including Avenue Scholars. In 2022, our Alumni Foundation utilized $85,000 we had in unrestricted funds to hire an Avenue Scholars career counselor for students who want to pursue immediate careers or two-year education/vocational paths, including skilled trades. The current Avenue Scholars program at East High School can serve 50 students. This year, we had 90 applicants. Soon, demand for this program will outpace scholarship applications. Monies designated “Greatest need” can enable us to hire an additional career counselor and serve more students interested in these career paths. https://avescholars.org/avenue-scholars-desmoines/
2. Donations designated for “School facilities” go toward:
- Additional athletic/extracurricular facilities. During our recent capital campaign, we raised $3.6 million to improve the softball and baseball complex, and install a synthetic field to be used for soccer, marching band and other activities. This was a tremendous start, but over time, we will need more improvements to simply keep up with natural aging/deterioration, and provide our students opportunities similar to those at suburban schools. And if you’ve followed what suburban schools are doing, you know that can be challenging without private-funding assistance.
3. Donations designated for “Scholarships” go toward:
- Our tremendous scholarship endowment of almost $5 million. This year, we awarded more than $220,000 in scholarships to 90 deserving students, and our total award amount increases each year. We are extremely proud to help alleviate college-loan debt for so many students and families, and two- and four-year education costs continue to rise.
It is important to note that donations designated for “Greatest need” can benefit – at the EHS Alumni Foundation’s discretion – any of these areas. So, as you review options for designating your gift, please consider that. All of this is critical in fulfilling our mission and living our motto, “For the service of humanity.”
For information on EHS Alumni Foundation and Alumni Association efforts, and to make a difference with a financial gift, please visit our Donate page. Have a great rest of 2023!
East High School Alumni Foundation president